October 16, 2016


These 1st grade collages are inspired by the folk tale Stone Soup.   This is the copy I read to the children, because it was mine from when I was little and my family saves everything....

The objective of this lesson is to listen to a story and illustrate it without seeing any of the pictures.  Most children have not heard this story before so this lends itself to complete surprise.   After each ingredient is introduced, the students create it independently with a variety of construction paper and crayons. 

If ingredient is something they've never heard of or seen - aka barley or cabbage -  we look it up.  Heck, you can't illustrate something you've never seen!  Some students really get into making each vegetable resemble that vegetable, and some decide to chop everything up really well!

Imagine....soup from stones!

October 9, 2016


In our house 'Alison Wonderland' is a big deal. (Yes, we've told her a zillion times its Alice IN Wonderland....)

 For her 6th birthday, my daughter wanted a Mad Hatter/Wonderland themed party.  I may have created a monster one day when I showed her how Pinterest worked.... within 10 minutes she had 40 pins.  At least I knew what she wanted!

Most of the party was created with stuff we already had.  Guests saw the White Rabbit in the garden and this sign on the door.

When the entered each girl was given a Mad Hatter Hat (a headband) that we made.  Except for the birthday girl, the guests each had the same one.  My daughter wanted it that way.  She said she didn't want any fighting.  These were made from felt, ribbon, and index cards.  Headbands were cheap on Amazon.

The girls each chose a small box wrapped in blue ribbon that had a key on a colored ribbon.  Each ribbon was a different color.  This was how they found their seats around the table.  This way, no fighting about who could sit next to the birthday girl!

 I had wanted to have the tea party outside, but due to the hurricane we had rain the day before, cold weather and strong winds.  So I had to move the tea party inside.  I actually borrowed a small kindergarten table my school was throwing away, and 7 little chairs.  It was the perfect size!

We hung lanterns MY DAUGHTER MADE herself from the ceiling.

I really wanted the table to be eclectic.  We used mixed matched paper goods and bulletin board paper for the table runner.  The girls drank lemonade out of my grandmother's coffee cups because they looked more like tea cups than anything I had!

Topiaries were fun to make and I used the extra tea cups my daughter had painted.
The White Rabbit was from the Disney Store.  Great addition to the table.

The girls played Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat.

We played croquet outside.  Wickets and flamingos created and cut on my Silhouette machine.

 The girls all had their own cupcakes with a candle and we sang happy un-birthday to them.  Then Happy Birthday to my daughter.  The girls opened presents and then they watched Alice in Wonderland till their parents came.

It was a lot of work but so worth it.  Next year though I'll do the bowling alley!

How crazy do you get for your kids' parties?  I'd love to know!

September 29, 2016


This is a two day 6th Grade lesson on HUE, TINT, and SHADE.  It's also a quick review of contour drawing which we did the second day of school.  You can see our contour and line drawing lesson here.

On the first class day the students get a half of real sweet smelling lemon to draw.  We discuss drawing what we see, not what we know....lemons aren't true circles!  The flesh segments aren't just triangles like a bicycle wheel!

Then they mix tints of yellow to paint the flesh and the fruit.

On the second class day they are charged with finding tints and shades of violet, yellow's complementary color, to collage the background.  More vocab here as we also talk about contrast.  We also have a chance to review our tertiary colors - red-violet and blue-violet.

Aren't they just lemony-awesome!
I'm always looking for good value lessons so link em up if you've got some!

September 28, 2016


These one liners aren't joking around - they are all business!   6th graders review line and begin to explore contour drawing with a continuous line drawing.

The students chose a stuffed animal - don't all art teachers have two bins of personal childhood stuffies around to draw?!  

Then they have to complete a line drawing of the animal, an environment, and their name ALL without picking up their pencil.  These are one of my favorites and my go-to second-day-of-school 6th grade plan!
(They would also be an excellent emergency sub plan!)

How do you teach contour drawing?  I'd love to see your ideas!

September 27, 2016

1st Grade Self Portraits

Lesson stolen from the fabulous Cassie Stephens!  You can find her lesson here.

I changed it a teensy smidge ... we used our painted papers for their art smock instead of the background paper.

Thanks for the idea Cassie Stephens!
Hope you like our version!

September 20, 2016


Most of my elementary classes start with a prayer.  I borrowed this prayer years ago from another art teacher friend, 

I now prepare to open my heart,
to be creative and do my part.
I offer my talents,
I'm ready to start.
Thank you God, for the gift of art!

and had it typed up on an activeboard slide for the kids to read and memorize.  This past spring my computer was having so much trouble that I could not keep pulling it up from the drive over and over again....soooo frustrating!! 

I considered making a poster, but one day when using my Silhouette Cameo and an idea was born ... post the prayer in vinyl in a place where all can see!

The hardest part was laying it all out...

It took several hours to adhere each word to the shade, but in the end, it's so worth it!! I love having it there permanently, and it's so inconspicuous (it's a grey color) it doesn't scream out at you either.

I just love using vinyl in the classroom.  I'd love to see some of your ways you use vinyl.